A beaming David Moyes knew there was no prospect of a quiet entrance on the grand stage of the New York Stadium and swiftly issued a thumbs-up to the 3,000 Sunderland fans as they roared his name.
Nestled at the front of the directors box alongside new chief executive Martin Bain, Moyes merely took a watching brief after being confirmed as Sunderland boss a few hours earlier, while Robbie Stockdale and Paul Bracewell took charge on the field.
Moyes witnessed a Sunderland victory thanks to trialist Charles N'Zogbia's late goal, with the Black Cats again looking sharp in their second pre-season outing, as they made it two friendly wins out of two.
But what will perhaps have most caught Moyes' eye is Sunderland's lack of numbers, when they were without the services of Jan Kirchhoff, Lee Cattermole, Seb Larsson, John O'Shea and Billy Jones.
Sunderland fielded Under-23s right-back Josh Robson, plus N'Zogbia in the starting XI, albeit the Frenchman was far more involved than he had been at Hartlepool United in midweek and deserved to get on the scoresheet.
Adding to the squad will have to consume Moyes' thoughts as much as getting to know his new charges when Sunderland travel to France next week, with the Premier League getting underway in 21 days.
Unlike the Pools victory, when Sunderland were 2-0 up inside 15 minutes, the opening stages were at a more mundane tempo, albeit the Black Cats looked by far the more promising side going forwards.
Jermain Defoe was a whisker away from making the breakthrough when he timed his run excellently to a long ball forwards from Jack Rodwell.
From the far right-hand side of the area, Defoe lobbed the ball over Rotherham keeper Lee Camp, but it drifted just wide of the far post.
The opener arrived for Sunderland in the 27th minute after good work from trialist Charles N'Zogbia, who won the ball on halfway and played a raking angled pass over the top for Fabio Borini.
The Italian brought it under control and hit a half-volley from 18 yards which had too much on it for Camp to keep out.
At the other end, ex-Sunderland utility man Greg Halford tested Jordan Pickford with an awkward dipping free-kick from 25 yards which was tipped behind by the Sunderland keeper.
N'Zogbia went close with a free-kick from a similar position four minutes before the break, with his curling left-footed away turned away by Camp.
Patrick van Aanholt then tried his luck from a set piece, with his dipping free-kick drifting just wide of the near post.
On the stroke of half-time, Pickford unconvincingly tried to punch clear a header looping towards his six-yard box, but Danny Ward's glancing effort was just over the top.
Vito Mannone replaced Pickford at half-time, but within 19 seconds of the restart, the Italian was picking the ball out of his net.
Striker Jerry Yates produced an excellent first touch to a right wing cross which sent him in behind Lamine Kone, and he then made no mistake with his finish as he fired into the far corner.
The second half was largely a non-event after that, but with five minutes to go, N'Zogbia restored Sunderland's advantage.
Sunderland's attack looked to have petered out down the right-hand side of the area, but Lynden Gooch and Josh Robson retrived the ball, before the latter squared it to N'Zogbia 18 yards out.
The ex-Aston Villa man lashed a low shot beyond Camp, who had no chance.
After the final whistle, Moyes came down to the pitch to applaud the Sunderland fans, who gave him a superb reception.
Rotherham: Camp, Kelly, Broadfoot, Wood, Mattock (Thorpe 36), Forde, Smallwood (Bailey-King 78), Halford (Forster-Caskey 41), Frecklington (Dawson 69), Ward (Muskwe 87), Yates. Sub not used: Price.
Sunderland: Pickford (Mannone 46), J Robson, Kone (E Robson 85), Kaboul (Ledger 78), van Aanholt, Rodwell, Lens (Greenwood 87), N'Zogbia, Khazri (Gooch 65), Borini (Watmore 56), Defoe (Honeyman 75). Subs not used: T Robson, Asoro, Stryjek.
Attendance: 6,676 (2,979 away)